CBI Seeks Identity Theft Victims Eligible for Refund in Money Wiring Settlement

11/20/2017—The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Identity Theft/Fraud Unit encourages victims of scams who may have wired money through Western Union between 2004 and 2017 to visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for information about filing a claim to potentially receive a refund.

A news release from the FTC alerted consumers about the settlement and the process to file a claim for reimbursement.   

CBI agents and victim advocates have identified 500 identity theft victims in Colorado who stated they used Western Union to wire money as part of scams such as bogus online romances, fake lotteries and tax schemes in recent years.

“We are working extremely hard to contact individual victims who have made reports to the CBI and stated they wired money through Western Union, but we know there are additional victims across the state,” said CBI Investigations Deputy Director Ralph Gagliardi. “This is an outstanding opportunity for victims to potentially recoup some of their losses from these far-reaching scams.”

Deputy Director Gagliardi encourages victims to visit the FTC website to learn more about the settlement and the claim process. CBI Identity Theft victim advocates are available to assist victims who may be eligible to file a claim.

To reach CBI Identity Theft victim advocates you can call the CBI 24-Hour Hotline at 1-855-443-3489 or the Bureau’s Victim Advocate Unit at 303-239-4242.

The deadline to file a claim is February 12, 2018.

The following information is from the FTC’s news release about the Western Union claim process. (click here for the full FTC news release):

The Federal Trade Commission is alerting consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, that they can now file a claim to get their money back by filing a claim to get a refund in the Western Union matter.

The refund program follows a settlement with the Western Union Company, which in January 2017 agreed to pay $586 million to resolve charges brought by the FTC and the U. S. Department of Justice. The FTC alleged that fraudsters were able to use Western Union’s money transfer system to get payments from their victims, even though the company was aware of the problem and received hundreds of thousands of complaints about fraud-induced money transfers made for fraudulent lottery and prizes, family emergencies, advance-fee loans, online dating and other scams. The company also allegedly failed to promptly discipline problem Western Union agents, and failed to have effective anti-fraud policies and procedures.

Affected consumers should go to FTC.gov/WU to file claims, learn more, or get updates on the claims process.

Filing a claim is free, so consumers should not pay anyone to file a claim on their behalf. No one associated with the claims process will call to ask for consumers’ bank account or credit card number.

The FTC’s case was investigated with the assistance of the U. S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Toronto Police Service Financial Crimes Unit, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Spanish National Police, and the Offices of the Attorney General for Arizona, Minnesota, and Vermont.